Archive for the ‘Trips and Vacations’ Category

American Revolution and Boston

Friday, June 19th, 2015

If possible, after reading about American Revolution, one really needs to visit Boston!  It is going to make you remember all that you read for the rest of your life.

We spent two days walking the Freedom Trail.  We visited museums along the way.  Kids did scavenger hunt at Old South Meeting House and we met Sally Hutchinson, the daughter of Governor Hutchinson (reenacted by a lady) and experienced what was it like during those days.  We took part in the Boston Tea Party by throwing tea down the ship.  Afterwards, we sipped tea and enjoyed scones.  We spent one day at Provincetown, MA.  This is where pilgrims first landed.  We spent one day at Plymouth, MA.  In Plymouth, we did the walking tour, visited the Mayflower II and Plymouth Plantation.  We wished we had more time in Plymouth.  We wished we could have visited Minute Man National Historic Park.  We had such a great time that I am pretty positive that we will do the same and probably more when Arjun reads about American Revolution.

Cost Rica Study & Travel

Monday, February 9th, 2015

We studied Costa Rica during the month of December and January.  As always, we started the process by completing the fact sheets for this small country and updated our religion and population graph.


After having learnt about this country from books, it was time to experience it first-hand.  We visited Costa Rica for about a week.  It was one of our best trips.  After having magical moments in Costa Rica, we came back and recorded our experience in detail on an online journal at  Kabir worked really hard on this project.


Arjun made “Capi Capi” t-shirt for himself and Kabir made “Pura Vida” t-shirt for himself.

Then we met with our homeschool friends for Central America party.  As part of the presentation, Kabir and Arjun presented our online travel journal named Costa Rica.  After the presentations, we sampled delicious Central American cuisine.

Both the kids earned Costa Rica stamps in their pretend passport!  Now, we are off to England!

Field Trips – Sept – Oct 2014

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

We have been super busy with field trips.  Here’s the list of field trips that we have attended with our homeschool groups in these last two months (sorry, I am not good at remembering to take photos and so, we don’t have that many photos but we did learn a lot):

Oren Dunn Museum – learnt about blacksmithing, history of Tupelo, Veteran’s museum and so much more.  If you live in Tupelo and have never been to this museum, I highly recommend it.  We actually celebrated Kabir’s birthday here and it was a big hit with all the kids.


Renasant Center for Ideas – it was enlightening to learn how and where small businesses can get help and also, a brief idea about how to start a business.

Philips Day-Brite Factory Tour – here we had an intense lesson on physics.  They have an amazing model of eye.  We had no idea how much is going on within the factory.


Brice’s Crossroads Visitor Center and Battlefield – we are reading American history and so, this field trip couldn’t have been at a better time.


Chickasaw Nation Education – we are reading American Indian history and so, this was just perfect to accompany our studies.  This was one of those field trips that I’ll never forget.

Wise Family Farms – sunflower maze, picking cotton, learning about different varieties of pumpkin, wagon ride and finally, picking our pumpkin.  Kabir found blue moon pumpkin and my mother-in-law made delicious pumpkin vegetable.  We are supposed to make pumpkin pie with the leftover half of blue moon pumpkin.

WTVA – tour of local TV station and listening to our weatherman, Matt Laubhan, talk about weather and his career.

In September, we tagged along with Amit to Washington DC and spent a week of intense field trips in Washington DC.  We spent a day in each of the following Smithsonian museums.

National Museum of the American Indian – we spent two days here as this was Kabir’s favorite museum.

Kids with medicine bags

Kids with medicine bags

National Museum of Air and Space – in this museum we focused on hand-on interactive programs.  There are 3 different demonstrations each day and we attended all 3 of them.  We attended 1 program in the planetarium and watched 1 iMax movie.


National Museum of Natural History – we spent the entire day here and Kabir could definitely spent another day here if we had more time.

National Zoo – this zoo is free and not too big and overwhelming.  So, we could visit the entire zoo in a day.  It was fun!

Also, we spent about 2-3 hours at Lincoln Memorial.  We did visit the White House from outside.

The White House

The White House


Zoo Snooze 2014

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

On August 8, Friday, we spent the night (7pm to 9am) at Memphis zoo and it was absolutely wonderful!!!  It was the best field trip we ever had!  We had a great group of 19 kids and 15 adults.  Our program was “Nocturnal Animals”.

We saw Maggie, a really cute barn owl and dissected owl pellets (not me!).  We petted (me too!) Val, a Mexican burrowing python and an opossum!  The funniest part was when Val tried to get in the hair of the zoo keeper.  She had to undo her bun and get Val out of her hair.  I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes!  There were few artifacts for kids to touch such as porcupine’s quills.

We had a guided night tour of the zoo and it was very different from the day visits.  The most memorable moment was the iguana who was feeling threatened by our presence (my guess!) and he kept nodding at us and then he would jump and bump to the glass.  Thank God, there was a glass between him and us!  It was unique and extraordinary!

We visited the kitchen where all the animal feeds are prepared.  I was impressed that the animals are fed produce straight from the local farm!  Wish we could eat this healthy!!!  We saw frozen mice that are thawed at room temperature to feed the reptiles in the zoo.  We saw cow blood ($35 per gallon) that is used to feed vampire bats.

Then we settled down for the night in the same room inside our sleeping bags.  We watched Turbo with popcorn and lemonade.  It was a nice feeling.  The only thing I wish I had taken with me was the eye mask because two lights in the room had to be left on because of federal regulation and those lights made it a little difficult to sleep.

Next morning, we were served healthy breakfast and I loved it that the zoo keeper asked everyone not to waste food!


Then we went for morning tour of the zoo.  The best part of the morning tour was hearing the lion roaring for breakfast and the bears running to the food!


Near the exit of the zoo, Kabir was brave enough to let Tarantula crawl on his hand.


It started to rain at the end of zoo snooze and I didn’t mind it at all!  These were the moments of our lives that were spent perfectly!  For another perspective of this field trip, you can visit my friend, Paula’s blog.  You can visit the Memphis zoo website to learn about zoo snooze program.  If you can, you should definitely organize a group for zoo snooze.  It’s worth it!

Here’s Kabir’s narrative about this event.

Amtrak to Chicago

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

During July 4th weekend, we surprised kids with a trip to Chicago from Memphis in Amtrak.  I had packed ahead of time and we kept the suitcase in the car previous night.  I made sure that they didn’t nap on the day of our travel.  Closer to time, I told them to take shower and get ready in their best clothes as we will take them out for dessert to a very fancy restaurant.  As per our expectations, kids fell asleep in the car pretty soon and we drove to Memphis. 

When we reached Memphis downtown, kids woke up and kept saying that they have never seen this part of Tupelo.  Very interesting!  We had to finally tell them that we are in Memphis and not Tupelo.  We had pizza and then we went inside Amtrak.  My kids thought that we are just visiting the train.  They were ecstatic when they found out that we were going to take a trip in Amtrak.  Now they assumed that this trip must be like Polar Express train.  Finally, we told them that we are traveling overnight to Chicago.  I wish I could frame those two little faces!

We took sleeper car and it was very comfortable for us.  We were offered nice breakfast on the way to Chicago and dinner on the way back.  Traveling in the train was so painless and restful that I don’t want to fly to Chicago anymore.  I prefer to take Amtrak to Chicago.  We reached Chicago so rested that we were ready to start the day.  In Chicago, we visited Navy Pier and Field Museum.  We had a spectacular view of the July 4th fireworks from the apartment of Amit’s cousin, Dhanesh Gupta.  It was so much more comfortable to be in his apartment than on the ground with such a huge crowd!  Of course, no trip to Chicago is complete without Ghirardelli and Garrett Popcorn!

I will definitely recommend traveling in Amtrak to Chicago from Memphis!